Travel Tips

How to afford traveling to Europe!

June 2, 2017

You’re sitting at home watching TV or reading a magazine then BOOM an ad of the beautiful Amalfi coast flashes across the screen or a picture of Portugal’s beaches stops you in your tracks. You think to yourself, like many Americans,  “ I could never afford to see such beautiful places.” or” I wonder how much it costs to vacation there?” I think we can all agree with increased consumerism, student and credit card debt and inflation that finding “ extra money “ to gallivant across the globe proves impractical . Add on the financial obligations of a kid or two, mortgage payments, insurances, car payments and it seems down right impossible.

I can’t stress it enough that traveling the world doesn’t have to be a far stretch of the imagination.  I’m not here to tell you that you can see the world with $500, I just want to show you how it doesnt have to cost 10,000 either.  I plan on sharing the effective strategies I use that allow me to travel 6 to 7 times a year. For the first time,
I’ve decided to elucidate in detail the financial aspects of my most recent travel adventure. I have broken down all major expenses. I was accompanied by my fiancée our son my two sisters and my  9-year-old niece. We traveled to 5 countries in 13 days: France, Portugal, England, Italy and Belgium. The costs of our major expenses could have been even more econimical if we limited out trip to one or two countries.  Read my tips for traveling throught Europe here!

 

Round trip tickets with American Airlines from FLL to CDG  – $459.85 per person!!

Yup! $460.00!  I know…. pick up your chin from the floor, I’ll go in detail now. “How in the world did she get tickets to Paris for so cheap?” you’re wondering.  Well, I chose Paris as my hub to fly in and out of Europe because I know it is a major major major airport and there are always a lot of flight options. More flight options mean more competition between airlines so they’re less likely to charge ridiculous airfare.  I then factored in the FACT that traveling to Europe in the summer equals VERY inflated prices. Choosing off seasons like spring and fall can significantly reduce the price of flights and lodging. I opted for Spring over Fall because I figured the weather would be much warmer and I was spot on, I felt like I was still in Miami! I flew into Paris in the fall a few years ago and it was too cold for my liking.  Anyway, I  booked the tickets approximately 2 months in advance. I didn’t want to go further out because things do come up unexpectedly and 2.5 months is the maximum time that I’m comfortable with.

Norwegian Airlines, which once only transported cargo, now offers amazing deals between the U.S and Europe. I have a friend who once saw one-way tickets to Paris for $150.00!!! Sign up to their newsletter to stay up to date on travel deals and to snag one you cant miss!

 

Airfare& Trains: 

I normally get my airfare and train tickets for travel in Europe for much less than what I paid. This is the most I have ever paid for intercontinental travel and it’s because tickets were booked almost last minute. I was waiting for my younger sister who, at the time, wasn’t sure she could get the time off from school . 2 weeks after booking our tickets she got the O.K. and I reserved hers. I will post the prices of both, her tickets which were purchased only 2 days before our departure and our tickets which were purchased 2 weeks before departure for juxtaposition. Again, booking in advance could have easily saved us hundreds. I’m sure of it!

S= SISTER       G= GROUP

Train tickets:

Paris to London with raileurope.com :       G – 62.79 per person     S -  $168.95

Airfare:

  • London to Lisbon-   G -169.16 per person              S-  $237.00
  • Lisbon to Rome:       G- $168.82 per person           S-  123.48
  • Rome to Paris -         G – $76.91 per person             S- 132.43

*Our flights were booked with Ryanair.com .

 

Transportation:

Uber & Taxis – Prices were originally in Euro and Pound and reflect the total price for all 6 people ( not per person) .

  • Paris- to Air B n’ B from Airport  $67 -
  • Eiffel tower to Air b’ n B  $39
  • Air Bn’ B to train station  $54
  • Air B n’ b to airport in London  $130

Car Rental  - Read more about renting a car and driving abroad here!

  • Portugal -  $76.71    May 19th – May 23rd
  • Rome-  $58.10   May 23 to the 25th
  • Paris- $229.51 – May 25th to the 28th  (From Paris we rented a car to drive to Belgium because I thought a road trip would be super cool. Google maps made the drive effortless. I was even able to search for cool bakeries and restaurants while en route).

Gas:

Gas totaled approx 260.00 Euro or $291 USD.

Public transportation-  the public transportation infrastructure in all of the European countries I’ve visited have been phenomenally easy to access, understand and get around with.  Typically buses and trains are my only mode of transportation. Not only is it more cost efficient, it allows me the opportunity to travel like a local and I enjoy those minute authentic experiences. Uber and rental cars were used frequently for this trip solely because there were so many of us and we had a child present.

  • Paris: approximately 5 euro for 1 day.
  • London: approximately 12 pounds from the airport to Air b n’ b  plus 6 pounds to and from the city center for both days.
  • Rome: approximately 8 Euro for both days. Driving and finding parking in Rome was so stressful that we opted to park the car and take public transportation.

 

Lodging:

With the proliferation of travelers and vacationers now opting for Air B n’ B rentals over traditional hotels,  the word is spreading the options are plentiful. What I like most about Air B n’ B is that you can literally input your budget and amenities and only properties that meet your search criteria come up. The site does have a verification process to ensure the safety of the renters and guests. I’ve used it several times and I’ve never had an issue. I actually prefer it because it is a much more personal experience. I’ve even had some hosts give me ideas on things to do, places to see, nearby bakeries and shops etc.  I’ve also heard about the site home away.com but I have yet to try it. prices are in total for 6 people. Not per person.

**Prices are total cost for 6 people. Not per person**

  • May 16- 17th Paris – $105
  • May 17- 19th London $264
  • May 19th -23rd Portugal (Garvao) $272
  • May 23rd to 25th-  $197
  • May 25th to 27th – Belgium $333
  • May 27th to 28th – $74

 

Food:

Food expenses can vary widely depending on how often you eat out. When traveling abroad to destinations where I know the US currency is weak I opt for one dinner at nice restaurant per country.  That’s exactly the route we chose. We took a trip to the grocery store each time we checked into our new lodging to purchase food for breakfast and dinner.  During lunchtime, we were always out of the house and would purchase fast foods like pizza and sandwiches.

 

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